As is common in the new media world with so many streaming options available and delayed viewership, the following post contains several spoilers. Please be advised that by continuing to read, you are subjecting to yourself to not getting the full gratification of Game of Thrones.
That said, if you aren't fully caught up, you may not completely understand the references since the conclusions of the show are intertwined below.
The Emmy-award winning series ended on Sunday, May 19 and while few are claiming it was the best ending ever, it was an ending that tied up loose ends and gave the audience closure on certain relevant issues. Just like the NBA, not every game is as exciting as the last and not every season or series lives up to the hype. That being said, the bit that's typically over analyzed and discussed is the ending itself.
The NBA Twitterverse was not shy about its interest in the ending however and many players chimed in along the way:
arya with the mj switch in mid air!!!!- Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin23) April 29, 2019
Let's see some hot takes.....what will happen in Game of Thrones today???- Josh Hart (@joshhart) May 19, 2019
I'm not here for all this Thrones slander. I thought it ended right. @ me- Malcolm Miller (@MalcMili13) May 20, 2019
Game of Thrones man....wow- Kevin Love (@kevinlove) April 29, 2019
When you slice and dice the show, there are about a dozen or so major overlaps that may not be completely obvious, but relate to the NBA more than you may initially think.
The Extra Coffee Cup and Water Bottle = New York Knicks
The Knicks are in a state of rebuilding and rebranding their image. With many offseason uncertainties underway, they are still a central topic within NBA communities despite their playoff absences.
Similarly, GOT was working to rebrand itself away from the books and happened to leave in a few extra items in some scenes such as a modern coffee cup and a plastic water bottle that were out of place and received more attention than some ongoing stories themselves.
In short, the coffee cup and extra water bottle were talking points about value and future product placement just as the Knicks current claim is linked to their revenue and salary cap numbers. They aren't playing in the postseason and yet here we are, talking about the New York Knicks during the postseason.
Ser Davos = Philadelphia 76ers
Trust the Process!
Ser Davos is a character that objectively worked with all he was capable of and really appears to be en route to reaching his potential. Struck by tragedy when his son is lost during the battle, Ser Davos continues to march on. The Sixers have also found themselves in the midst of injuries and continued to grow and develop.
In the end, Ser Davos finds himself on a council who elects Brandon Stark to the Iron Throne. Ser Davos began the show being unable to read and through "the process" was able to correct others' grammar when the show concluded. Expect the same from the Sixers who may have had some losing seasons recently, but appear to have turned around their identity.
The Baratheons = Russell Westbrook
Robert Baratheon's death is what began the literal Game of Thrones and the actual claim to the throne may still lie with his son, Gendry. As for his son's ambitions, it was only one day with Arya Stark that led Gendry to believe he was ready to add a ring to Arya's jewelry box.
He shot an aggressive shot that only he could make, and happened to miss. He rebounded well enough to get promoted to Lord of Storm's End and should be assisting the generations to come. Pure triple-double effort.
Westbrook, despite no shortage of individual achievement, is still suffering from ring loss. Not just the 2012 NBA Finals where Westbrook had a chance to begin his legacy early, but ever since whether it be a game away from advancing to the Finals in 2016 or these past few postseasons with Paul George at his side.
As basketball speak goes, Westbrook is still royalty and deserves to be treated as such. When there's any room for movement both Westbrook and Gendry should take their houses to the top and show they have a real stake in the game.
Red Woman = Houston Rockets
The Red Woman relies on a variety of spells and projections to make some miracles happen and prolong lives. Likewise, Mike D'Antoni may be able to extend the playing careers and make certain stars shine brighter than they otherwise might, but it's tough to label either party a success thus far.
The Red Woman brought Jon Snow back to life and it's certainly true that Snow was instrumental in the Iron Throne being determined, the true fan expectation for Lyanna Stark's son was to be on the throne himself.
Snow may redeem himself in the future and climb back to the throne, but anything less feels like a consolation prize much in the way anything short of a championship from James Harden and Chris Paul seems like a letdown.
Night King = Portland Trail Blazers
Ice ran through the veins of the Portland Trail Blazers this postseason, just as it did the Night King. Between Damian Lillard's remarkable series-clincher to CJ McCollum's game 7 heroics in Denver, the team felt like it could be one of destiny.
However, also just like the Night King, the Trail Blazers aren't going to be around to see the end. It's unclear just how the Night King may resurface, but the very fact that there is still a Night's Watch should indicate the Night King is still a possibility. McCollum, new friend to Jennifer, is also not shy about his interest in the show and his motivation may have one more angle we shouldn't underestimate.
The North = Los Angeles Lakers
The obvious answer that people expect for the "North" is the Toronto Raptors, but let's take a deeper George R.R. Martin look at this rather than a cursory D.B. Weiss and David Benioff approach. Yes the Raptors have the word "North" on their jerseys and the Starks run the North and the two seem to go hand in hand. They even have the whole #WeTheNorth social media campaign.
We get it.
From the very beginning, Sansa carried with her a real sense of regality. One might says the same about LeBron James who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated wearing a crown while still in high school. Both had to deal with a lot of adversity and things did not play out how we thought a fairytale romance might have, but both have a royal shine to them now. The North opted to become its own independent jurisdiction which is seemingly what the Lakers have done amidst the team reorganization.
Lannisters = Boston Celtics
The Lannisters somehow maintain their aura despite all the scandal they endured over eight seasons. The Celtics are currently in the midst of balancing a point guard act between Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier and hoping to settle all matters efficiently in the coming months. However, they should be expected to remain at the top regardless of the outcome.
Tyrion may very well be the second most powerful man in the realm. The Celtics always manage to find a way to remain at the top and their NBA best 17 NBA titles might as well be the same thing as a Lannister always paying their debts.
Both the Lannisters and Celtics expect to be the best and have shown they can be the best. It also wouldn't be too far-fetched to see Danny Ainge working alongside Cersei to pull of the next blockbuster trade that benefits Beantown for the next 5-10 years. Nobody works the iron bank quite like Ainge who has shown a proclivity for taking the big swings others can't always stomach.
As an aside, in not so surprising fashion, former Celtic legend had a miscalculation on the Game of Thrones ending.
Arya will take the throne tonight sorry for the spoiler 😳 https://t.co/O82EeqLKn4- Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) May 19, 2019
Drogon = San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs come in and make noise on command. It what was supposed to be a down year, they almost pulled off a historic upset in the first round. They have a history of fighting fire with more fire and relying on a big three.
The Spurs get the big picture that so many others miss just as Drogon did when realized the source of his mother's demise was the physical throne that drove her power.
Let's also not forgot the possibility of Drogon and/or his siblings potentially laying some eggs along the way for future battles. The Spurs are experts at finding talent overseas and it should be expected that it's only a matter of time until they get another diamond in the rough or dragon in Westeros.
Just as Drogon flew off the radar to pick up the pieces, make no mistake that while the Spurs may have exited stage left, they're no doubt reloading for an inevitable return somewhere down the line.
Ghost = Toronto Raptors
With the Raptors seemingly playing with house money with Kawhi's season being the best individual performance franchise-history, it seems they have brushed off past demons. Ghost, the direwolf given to Jon Snow at the beginning of the show was the topic of much discussion when he was seemingly ignored and left for not.
Previously, Toronto had similar feelings as free agents and past free agents seemed to overlook Canada's basketball hotspot. In the end, there was a full-on embrace by Jon Snow to Ghost and regardless of Kawhi's choice, the city of Toronto will be in full support of the Claw.
Daenerys Targaryen and Remains of Dothraki/Unsullied = Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks are straight soldiers. Milwaukee has marched through the season and behind the warrior-like build of Giannis Antetokounmpo, it's ready to battle with anyone. With Grey Worm leading the charge it appears that just like the Bucks, the followers of the late Khaleesi are the best defense anyone could imagine.
If there's a single team that has the chance to change the balance of the throne, it's the fighting spirit and the reason to Fear the Deer.
Golden State Warriors = Brandon Stark
In the end, the Iron Throne was awarded to Brandon Stark. What has frustrated some fans is that based on Bran's ability to operate as the three-eyed-raven, he was presumably aware that this honor was imminent and chose to have everyone play out their roles so he could be awarded the realms top honor.
The Warriors seem to have it on a similar cruise control. On to their fifth straight finals, they almost seem to make it look easier to advance with Kevin Durant's absence. It shouldn't be a foregone conclusion that they're going to defeat their Eastern Conference foe, but it would certainly be an upset to see anyone but the Bay Area hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy.
And with that, the watch has ended.
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